It really takes a community

People tell me every day that I seem to have such a fun life and then they ask how I know what’s going on in the Shreveport-Bossier community. Most of the time, I rattle off how I heard about particular events. One of the things that annoys me most is when people say that there is nothing to do in our locale. It is so NOT true. Sometimes my calendar has so many events that I have to cull my choices. I thought it might be fun to make a list of the people and organizations who contribute community event information to my life each day.

BCC new logoBossier Chamber of Commerce – I have been a diplomat for the Bossier Chamber for 5 years. This year I decided to take some time off in an official capacity, but I still make an effort to be at the events. The Bossier Chamber is probably my best resource for networking. I find the info to attend on their website calendars:

facebookFacebook Events – I hear people say they hate getting all of the event invites on Facebook. Not me! I rejoice in them, because behind each one is a person that created the event with hopes for even one “going” response. This is my main resource for finding out information about events in our community. Of course, from time to time, there are events that I’m not interested in attending, but I still look at them and value them as a contribution of knowledge in my life. I link my Facebook events with my iCal and Google calendars so that I don’t miss an opportunity. ALSO, I invite people to those events and share, share, share!

IMG_9723Jada Durden – Recently Jada was named my true soul mate by Captain Quizz, so you know it must be true. Jada has a very similar vision as mine and has made a huge impact in contributing to my life. She is in the know when it comes to the events, restaurants and attractions that are appealing. Jada writes the Loving This Life blog and has been honored by Louisiana Travel as a top 11 blogs to follow in Louisiana. She also writes for the Shreveport Times, has her own videographer and more plans in the works for sharing.  Her contribution is enormous and you should be following her every move.

IMG_7664Chris Jay and Sara Hebert – This dynamic duo = THE cool kids in town. Chris knows lots, and even more about food. Sara is who I strive to be, even though I’m sure she is 20 years younger. I follow both on social media just to pick up any nuggets they might be chucking, especially the events that they share. They know about music, food, events and even weird stuff that you didn’t think you needed to know. I’ll let you figure out those on your own. Oh, and they dress really cool. I want to rip off their style, yet I’m afraid I’m too old to pull it off. Together Sara and Chris produce the All Y’all Blog, Live Storytelling Events and Podcasts. Sara is the marketing genius at Moonbot Studios and Chris is the extra hard working Public Relations and Social Media Manager for the Shreveport- Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and writes the 20×49 Blog (listed next).  I hear that Chris writes for six magazines. Ask him about it.

19120_10153133965946328_887482314413511101_nShreveport- Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau (SBCTB) – I serve on the Attractions Association Board with the SBCTB and get lots of info just by hanging around those folks. On days when I can’t think of anything to do, I check out the SB Fun Guide and 20×49 blog:

1507837_10201883458861266_1240861387_nRobert Trudeau – Robert is one of those people who you just want to stand close to in hopes that his creativity will waft over to you. If I’m looking for info about music, art, or community, Robert is the one I look to. Robert is the editor of the Shreveport Blog and I look to him for my cultural arts fill. His wife Talbot is a fabulous artist and they make a great team.

Shreveport Chamber of Commerce – As with the Bossier Chamber, the Shreveport Chamber has many opportunities to connect with others in our community.

These are just a few of the info powerhouses that I look to for my pulse on the community. I wanted to add paragraphs to acknowledge the likes of:

but we would be here for quite a while. It really takes a community to know your community. I guess what I’m saying is . . . get to know those who know.

That just happened.
Robin Williams,
Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes

Oh Taste and See

Oh Taste and SeeThe Bossier Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, November 30 to celebrate the opening of the stage production “Oh Taste and See” at the Bossier Arts Council. The gospel play is presented by Lisa Blakely Productions and will run December 1, 2 & 3 at 7:00 pm nightly at the East Bank Theatre. Lisa Blakely is an inspiring woman, who is both the writer and producer of this play. Lisa expressed that it is her dream to follow in the footsteps of Tyler Perry. (One of my favorite people!) This isn’t the first play for Ms. Blakely. She has previously written and directed the gospel stage play, “Get Thee Behind Me”. The cast was in attendance for guests to meet and her pastor blessed the production.

Oh Taste and SeeThe following is the play description as found on the Oh Taste & See website:

As a widowed mother, love is the last thing on Marilyn’s mind. Her busy life revolves around working at the Post Office, catering part-time and keeping her teenage daughter in control, which becomes especially challenging when her daughter begins to show signs of needing a father in her life. Just as things start to go haywire in the household, in walks Henry Billingsly, her new boss. The attraction between the two is undeniable, but forbidden. She has also been keeping a big family secret that threatens to hold her back and break her family apart. A hot, steamy fling may begin to satisfy her appetite, but family secrets are a recipe for disaster. Will she taste and see?

Oh Taste and SeeBossier Parish is fortunate to have the Bossier Arts Council. I have attended several stage plays and art exhibits at the center. In addition to providing a cultural experience for the community, the Bossier Arts Council encourages the growth of artists in our area. One of my favorite things that the Council offers is acting camps and art programs for youth. My daughter has attended both and had an absolutely wonderful time.

East Bank TheaterThe production of “Oh Taste and See” will be held at the East Bank Theatre, 630 Barksdale Blvd, Bossier City, LA 71111, Phone: 318.741.8310. Tickets can be purchased online by going to www.otas.eventbrite.com/

Support your local art community and be sure to tell Lisa you read my blog.

See ya around Bossier,

Robin Williams,
Bossier Chamber of Commerce Diplomat & Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes

Bowling Pin Art: Creativity Flows for Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink is the new “In” color. It can be seen everywhere, from pink ribbons on the lapels of dainty ladies to pink gloves and tape on rough and tumbling football players. Pink represents a commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness and Education.

Pink Pin LadyWhen Holiday Lanes in Bossier City, LA held a Bowl for the Cure in 2010, we decided to hold a silent auction. Pink items were an obvious choice, but something special would be needed to make the auction unique. After researching thousands of web pages and magazine articles, one idea stood out. In our manager’s office, on a top shelf I had seen a bowing pin that was decorated as Santa. I had also found several websites that had decorated pins into a variety of people and creative art. That was it – Pink Ladies! I thought . . . what if we had a few people decorate bowling pins in honor or memory of someone who had battled breast cancer? Not only decorate a pin, but also write a short synopsis of the person that it was honoring and include a photo. The Pink Lady could be representative of the struggles and survivals of those who have dealt with this disease. What I didn’t know at the time was how therapeutic it might be. I decorated a pin that first year and asked my aunt to provide her story of detection and survival. It became a great way to raise awareness not only to myself, but others who read the story. In that first year, seven Pink Ladies were submitted for the auction and raised $370 for the Northwest Louisiana Susan G Komen for the Cure affiliate.

Pink Lady ArtLet me just say, 2011 has become a banner year for Pink Ladies/Pin Art. The Bowl for the Cure auction, which will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 11 am – 2 pm, is still days away and I’m overwhelmed by the imaginative people in our community. As I write this piece, I already have received 38 decorated pins and still have pins coming in daily. When the time came to start promoting the auction, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to get many to participate. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, Ms. Holoman from the Bossier Parish Schools Talented Program stepped up and got her classes on the project. Participating schools were Carrie Martin Elementary, LA New Tech School at Plain Dealing and Benton High School. The group of very talented students provided 15 pieces of art. The fun thing about it is that no two pins are alike. All are quite unique and each has great style. Pink Pin LadyIn addition, the Bossier Arts Council provided six very distinctive pins. It would be wrong of me to point out my favorite, but maybe it’s ok to say my fav is in this group of art. It amazes me to see the creativity and imagination used. I love the pin created by 7th grader, Gavin Jones. His design is called “Hot Stuff”. The pin is dressed in an animal print bikini with a sun hat. He dedicated the pin to his sister and said: “In honor of and as a reminder to my sister, Megan. I love her and want her around for a long time. I want her to be sure to get checked for Breast Cancer”. Megan does not have breast cancer, but her brother wants to make sure she stays that way. What a great brother!

Bowl for the CureBreast Cancer is so wide spread and affects many of us in one way or another. We all know someone who has survived or perished from this terrible disease. Instead of calling the art “Pink Ladies”, I should have called it “Pink Pin Art”, so that I wasn’t just focused on women. As you might know breast cancer affects men too. According to komen.org, Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2011, it is estimated that among U.S. men there will be 2,140 new cases of breast cancer and 450 breast cancer deaths in men. The creativity has been abundant and I’m hoping that we are able to make a sizable contribution to the Northwest Louisiana Susan G Komen for the Cure affiliate again this year. All of the Pink Pin Art will be on a special sneak peak preview from 3:00 to 6:00 pm on Friday, October 14 at Holiday Lanes in Bossier City. You may also view the pins on Facebook by going to http://on.fb.me/cureauction. The silent auction begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 15. Final bids will end at 2:00 pm. Come by, take a look at the artwork on display. Hey, you can even Bowl for the Cure while you are there. It’s all for a good cause. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/pinklanes

See ya around Bossier,

Robin Williams,
Bossier Chamber of Commerce Diplomat & Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes